Ed Halter on Stan Brakhage’s Metaphors on Vision 

  • Cover of Stan Brakhage’s Metaphors on Vision, republished by Anthology Film Archives and Light Industry, 2017

Book Talk

  1. Oct 13, 2017, 5 – 7 pm
Level 3, Bookshop

Out of print for over 40 years, Stan Brakhage’s landmark Metaphors on Vision has been republished by Anthology Film Archives and Light Industry. Ed Halter, curator, critic, scholar and co-founder of Light Industry, discusses this influential book.

First published in 1963 by Jonas Mekas as a special issue of Film Culture, Metaphors on Vision stands as the major theoretical statement by one of avant-garde cinema’s most influential figures, a treatise on mythopoeia and the nature of visual experience written in a style as idiosyncratic as his art. By turns lyrical, technical, and philosophical, this is a collection to be shelved alongside the commentaries of Robert Bresson and Maya Deren, Sergei Eisenstein and Nagisa Oshima. 

Anthology Film Archives and Light Industry present the republication of Metaphors on Vision in a new, definitive edition, featuring a full facsimile of the publication’s original George Maciunas design as well as a corrected version of the text, overseen by P. Adams Sitney. These materials are complemented by Sitney’s introduction to the 1998 French translation of Metaphors on Vision, copious annotations, and an apparatus that meticulously tracks variations in the text across its many iterations.

Following this book talk will be a 7 pm show at the Harvard Film Archive entitled The Lyric Lens, which include the following films by Stan Brakhage: Anticipation of the Night (US 1958, 16mm, color, silent, 40 min); Visions in Meditation #2Mesa Verde (US 1989, 16mm, color, silent, 17 min); Visions in Meditation #3: Plato’s Cave (US 1990, 16mm, color, 18 min). 

An introduction will be given by filmmakers Nathaniel Dorsky and Jerome Hiler, curators of the screening.